Here Are Reasons Why You Should Not Drink Contaminated Water
Safe and readily available water is important for public health, whether it is used for drinking, domestic use, food production or recreational purposes. “Ninety per cent of households in Nigeria consume contaminated water and other impure substances,” according to a report by the multiple indicator cluster.
Experts say improved water supply and sanitation, and better management of water resources, can boost countries’ economic growth and can contribute greatly to poverty reduction. Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies, usually as a result of human activities. Water bodies include for example lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers and groundwater.
In 2010, the United Nations general assembly explicitly recognised the human right to water and sanitation. Everyone has the right to sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible, and affordable water for personal and domestic use.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in low and middle-income countries, 38 per cent of health care facilities lack an improved water source, 19 per cent do not have improved sanitation, and 35 per cent lack water and soap for hand washing.
“globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces, accounting for about 502 000 diarrhoeal deaths each year and by 2025 half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas,” says WHO.However, contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to transmission of diseases, some of the more commonly reported problems experienced from drinking impure water includes :cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio.
“Absent, inadequate, or inappropriately managed water and sanitation services expose individuals to preventable health risks. This is particularly the case in health care facilities where both patients and staff are placed at additional risk of infection and disease when water, sanitation, and hygiene services are lacking,” says WHO.
Globally, 15per cent of patients develop an infection during a hospital stay, with the proportion much greater in low-income countries. Inadequate management of urban, industrial, and agricultural wastewater means the drinking-water of hundreds of millions of people is dangerously contaminated or chemically polluted. Diarrhoea is the most widely known disease linked to contaminated food and water but there are other hazards. Almost 240 million people are affected by schistosomiasis – an acute and chronic disease caused by parasitic worms contracted through exposure to infested water.
Meanwhile, WHO has set guidelines for drinking-water quality lines, since 2014, the agency has been testing household water treatment products against WHO health-based performance criteria through the WHO International ‘Scheme’ to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technologies.
The aim of the scheme is to ensure that products protect users from the pathogens that cause diarrhoeal disease and to strengthen policy, regulatory, and monitoring mechanisms at the national level to support appropriate targeting and consistent and correct use of such products. WHO works closely with UNICEF in a number of areas concerning water and health, including on water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities.
In 2015 the two agencies jointly developed WASH FIT (Water and Sanitation for Health Facility Improvement Tool), an adaptation of the water safety plan approach. WASH FIT aims to guide small, primary health care facilities in low- and middle-income settings through a continuous cycle of improvement through assessments, prioritization of risk, and definition of specific, targeted actions.